Germany became Morgan's main market after Morgan's forced withdrawal from the USA market and has remained a very important market every since, for over 40 years now. Many German Morganeers have been very faithful to "their marque". One exponent of them is Roderich Schwarz, who has been active for a large number of years. Currently he also discovers any news there is to be known in the Morgan world and shares it with his friends on the internet. What follows is his own story.
How it did not begin:
By the end
of the 60s I saw the first Morgans in my home town, a white +8 with a bonnet
belt, a baby blue +8 and a red 4-seater. I’ve liked the 2-seaters from the
beginning and was impressed by the sound of the V 8s. The 4-seater was not my
cup of tea, to put it mildly, at that time. Did I want one? No. The +8s were
nice cars - like many others. The car I really wanted was a Porsche 911!
Definitely not the beginning of a love story.
How it did
In the late
70s and the 80s I spent a lot of time at race tracks like the Nürburgring or
Silverstone to watch historic races. Eventually that was the trigger to get
interested in owning a classic car. Actually what followed was as much a
decision for a Morgan as it was a decision against a Jaguar XK 120/140/150 or
an Austin Healey. I was looking for a reliable classic car and there were no
a Morgan can be a rational decision...
One day, when I drove past Unna, I stopped at the Morgan dealership, Flaving. There I ordered a Connaught Green +8 with Black Connolly leather, galvanized chassis, under scuttle roll bar and a luggage rack. It took some minutes only to place the order. I didn't know whether I would like to drive the car or not, but I didn't care. I decided to try it, as I knew I could sell it without a huge loss, in case I wouldn't like it.
I had to wait for about two years. Two days before Christmas 1991 I could collect the car in Unna - on a trailer - as I didn't want to drive it before Spring. Fortunately the weather forecast for the days between Christmas and New Year was excellent and I changed my mind. I organized number plates after Christmas and drove the car home. The picture of the +8 was taken on that occasion.
It was my very frist drive in a Morgan. Yet it took only seconds to find out that the decision to purchase a +8 was a good one. The car was registered in early January 1992.
I enjoyed the car very much, especially the trips to the UK for the big MOG events with more than 1,000 other Morgans in those days, such as MOG 92 at Margam Park, Wales. Also smaller meetings from those days I remember vividly and I made many friends there (Knokke, Zandvoort and Luxembourg for instance; it looks as if I visted meetings in monarchies only, doesn't it?).
From the beginning I visited The Factory regularly and twice or three times I had the Morgan serived in Malvern. My first visit happened quite accidentally. It was very hot at MOG 92 and my car was pinking. Someone recommended to have the car checked at The Factory on my way back Brilliant idea! They could not cure the pinking, but I had the opportunity to stroll through The Factory, while they were working on my car. I have not counted my visits, but presumably I have gone to The Factory 30 times by now. No need to explain that I enjoy the visits!
Now, after 5 more Morgans, I know that the +8 was an exceptional car. No problems at all from the beginning, apart from the pinking. No leaks at all and no so-called teething period of 2 years. At that that time I thought that was normal.
It was followed by a Silver +8 in 1997 and a Black 4/4 in 2002. By the end of 2006, Dutch classic car dealer Lex Classics had bought the Black 4/4 and I ordered a +4 Tourer. This arrived her in February 2007. I soon found out that I did not use it in the way like I did with the 2-seaters. I always stored it with the hood erected in my garage, whereas the two-seaters were always stored without hood and side screens. I often drove the 4-seater with the hood erected, or with the side screens, because I liked the looks... Furthermore I had some trouble with the car in the beginning. Still, I liked the car.
Only because a customer had returned his in my opinion stunning Roadster Series 2 later in 2007, after just a few days of ownership, here was an opportunity to swap cars. In November 2007 I delivered my Tourer and collected the Roadster at Flaving's in Unna. Without this opportunity, I would have kept the Tourer a few more years.
In 2011 a Sand coloured 4/4 Sport replaced the Roadster.
I have owned all Morgan models I am interested in. I'm a "trads only guy". Eva GTs or Life Cars are not on my shopping list. However, I do hope that "Sandie", or "Number Six", will not be my last Morgan. The Morgan Motor Company sold more traditional Morgans with four wheels in 2010 than in any other year before. Hopefully that will encourage them to cope with the European laws, that make it difficult to offer icons like Morgans and Land Rover Defenders.
If the era of the trads should end earlier than I expect and wish, I'll keep the car. As longevity has improved significantly over the years, that shouldn't be a problem.
Roderich Schwarz' Morgans